Configure Default Exchange Distribution Group Settings

Following the release of Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1, the functionality to configure distribution group settings based on the Exchange organization has been introduced.

By getting (Get-OrganizationConfig | fl Distribution*)  the configuration data for an Exchange organization; we may see that there are three configurable parameters for distribution groups:





DistributionGroupDefaultOU – Enables the ability to set a default OU to create distribution groups.

DistributionGroupNameBlockWordsList – Prevent distribution groups from containing certain words

DistributionGroupNamingPolicy – Use a default naming policy when creating a distribution group; this allows for the following attributes to be used as a prefix and/or suffix for the distribution group name.

  • Department
  • Company
  • Office
  • StateOrProvince
  • CountryorRegion
  • CountryCode
  • Title
  • CustomAttribute1 to CustomAttribute15

The naming policy uses the attributes from the user who is creating the distribution group.

For example, within Active Directory all distribution groups will be required to be created in the Groups organizational unit, with the prefix of ‘DL-‘ and the users ‘CompanyorRegion’ attribute as the suffix.




This can be performed from the EMS by running the following:

Set-OrganizationalConfig -DefaultDistributionGroupOU -DefaultGroupNamingConvention “DL -<GroupName>-<CountryOrRegion>”

When a new distribution group is now created the default organizational unit and naming policy will now be applied. For example, by creating a distribution group named Sales using the account ‘deangrant’; the distribution group will be created in the Groups organizational unit with the name ‘DL-Sales-United Kingdom’ as the ‘CompanyorRegion’ attribute for the user account is set to ‘United Kingdom’.



You may also prevent certain words from being used within a distribution group by configuring the ‘DefaultDistributionGroupNameBlockWordList’ parameter. For example, If we wanted to prevent the word ‘Bad’ from being used when creating a distribution group name, run the following form the EMS:

Set-OrganizationalConfig -DefaultDistributionGroupNameBlockWordList Bad

Now when creating a distribution group where the name contains Bad, an error will be received stating that group name isn’t allowed.


However, all the options configured above may be overridden with the ‘-IgnoreNamingPolicy’ parameter when creating a distribution group. For example, to create a distribution group named ‘Marketing DL’ in the Marketing OU.

New-Mailbox -Name “Marketing DL” -OrganizationalUnit “” -IgnoreNamingPolicy

This can all

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